Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dystopic World Guide: Relationships between the CDC and other Supernaturals

This article is part of some world building for the futuristic World of Darkness game set in 2052 in a new World of Darkness game that incorporates Demon: the Fallen canon.  You can read about the Zombie Apocalypse over here and the CDC over here.  If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest reading it for context.

The CDC has risen to the challenge of dealing with the zombie outbreak and helps manage many of the communities although the mega-corporations keep it weak and in check in the eastern states.  They rabidly despise the Cheiron Group, who many believe have ties with the cultists, or at least may have spread infection to some of the communities to further their own ends.

They initially aimed to destroy the various supernatural creatures they encountered in their fears that they might somehow be involved in the Pale Rider but quickly found that this might not be the case.  After all, werewolves seemed to loathe the infected as much as they do as there was plenty of evidence of giant wolf-like creatures tearing through the ranks of the infected outside of small communities.  Whole families, steadily growing inbred, lived in the unprotected zones, eager for genetic stock.  Investigations into alleged humans who seemed capable of smelling out the infected found that there was no human mechanism for doing so.  Thus far, the werewolves resent CDC involvement but are generally non-hostile because even the Pure acknowledge the necessity for humans as breeding stock.  The CDC also know that werewolves can't be infected.  In their dealings, the CDC pretend that they don't know werewolves exist in a selected community and the werewolves pretend that they don't suspect they've been identified.  So far that's been working out.

Vampires are known to potentially become carriers who can't seem to tell if their victims have caught the infection or not but are sometimes useful.  Vampires are, after all, willing to cut a deal if they think it would benefit them and what keeps a large group of humans alive benefits them.  The trouble is that vampires can be carriers if they feed from an infected person and since even zombies can provide some sustenance with their uncoagulated blood (equivalent to animal blood) there is always the chance that a vampire might feed on one.  Of course, vampires can get pretty nasty at the best of times so unless a vampire has already shown itself as a rather parasitic but helpful member of a community, they will be ashed.  A vampire cannot be infected if bitten nor does the virus do anything to them.

The CDC has a very touch and go relationship with the Mages.  On the one hand, mages could be incredibly helpful to the CDC and the resources that the CDC have at their disposal are quite tempting to both the Pentacle and the Seers.  The trouble is that Mages are naturally inclined toward arrogance, expect easy promotion and greater control, and are likely to use their own magic against their coworkers to get their own way.  Worse still is the war between Mage factions that blows up at the most inconvenient times.  The CDC aren't too sure what the different factions are but they know they exist and that when members of opposing factions meet, everything blows up around them.  Strangely enough, Banishers (whether innate or made) tend to work better with the CDC although they can be a bit too dedicated about wiping out their own kind.

Changelings?  They sometimes help out with the CDC but at worst are identified as psychics.  There are some ensorcelled mortals amongst the CDC as well as some survivors who are brought through the Hedge rather than facing the monsters firsthand.  The CDC have heard of these 'other places' but as yet hasn't provided the resources to look into it.  The main problem for Changelings is that they are also immune to the infection, experiencing only influenza like symptoms, but are likely to be slain by people who don't know any better.  Due to the rarity of Changelings getting themselves bit and getting out alive, not even all Changelings are aware of this immunity.

So what about the Fallen?

To begin with the CDC had a 'kill on sight' policy.  After the apocalypse when some Fallen no longer felt the need to hide, they got a different perspective.  They saw hideous beings spreading disease and mayhem and exulting in the pain and terror.  They also saw beautiful beings healing with a touch, raising crops on barren land, and cleansing water.  How to reconcile these two perspectives?  How to reconcile demonic existence with the Fallen Angels or, more importantly, Fallen existence with what they can do for humanity?  The occultists found an answer in demonic True Names.  When they found a nasty Fallen, they killed them.  When they found one who didn't appear to be so evil, they chained the Fallen in bindings and used them against the infection in every way they could.  Sometimes they left the so-called 'Kindly Ones' in place to protect their towns or moved them elsewhere.  They've even started experimenting in Thrall Teams though there are always fears of what might happen in the Fallen slips its bonds.

The CDC are on great terms with the Lucifuge who approve of using demons to your own ends (though don't necessarily trust the CDC with this power), the Loyalists of Thule for their mentality and intellect, and the Null Mysteriis for their shared interests, skills and knowledge.  They tend to work with the Union when they appear although they worry that they are simply new carriers of the disease.  They abhor the Cheiron Group as likely causes of further outbreaks.  They had a good history with Task Force: Valkyrie but don't know what to make of their invisible leaders and therefore try to avoid getting too close to them.  They think Ashwood Abbey is disgusting, particularly due to some of their reprehensible actions involving the Infected.

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